The United Kingdom expects an 18% increase on online sales this holiday season according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) as more and more online consumers use their mobiles phones to access ecommerce sites. An indication of the demand will be seen in the next few days. A UK credit company expects around £500 million to be spent on Monday despite the fact that many Britons have exhausted their Visa Cards last Black Friday, the biggest day for online shopping.
How will ecommerce sites manage the volume of sales and delivery?
How delivery will be handled – Britons are advised to start their shopping early in anticipation of the rush for the holiday season otherwise they might be in for some disappointment. There are doubts about delivery particularly since they will be overwhelmed with a significant volume of packages. Delivery companies are boasting that they can handle the holiday rush with extra manpower and transportation which is expected to involve a big cash investment. In fact, the government has estimated that the trucking industry will be short of about 60,000 drivers for the holiday season which is due in part to the new certification regulations.
Contingency plans of ecommerce sites – eBay has put in place a contingency plan where items that have been purchased from eBay sellers can be picked up from Argos stores. Amazon has made an agreement with newspaper wholesaler Connect Group for the same day parcel delivery. It is expected though that in spite of the planning, a spike in online sales will cause them enormous problems. There are signs in the market that shortages have to be expected. Another method called the “click and collect” will allow customers to pick up their packages in places like gas stations, newsagents and convenience stores. Click and collect expects to make 25% to 40% of online non-food sales for the holiday season.
According to Fortune, online retailing is expected to generate a 16% increase in holiday spending due to mobile purchases. This means that online sites must optimize their web design for mobile to make easy conversions. Recent trends in mobile purchasing are an indication that people will be using their mobile gadgets to shop for gifts and new clothes.